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Cool article about "flexitarians"

I like it because it gets on people for eating fish and calling themselves vegetarians.  ;)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8341002.stm

Nice read. The "big red letters" part made me smile.

However, I think they need to send the author to this side of pond to see some truely bizarre peceptions about what is vegetarian. I have been informed on at lest three almost seizure inducing occations that chicken is a vegetable.

"Oh, I don't eat meat either. Just chicken"

Sometimes, I feel optimistic and feel that there is hope for humanity. Those were not such times.

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I have gotten the "...just chicken" comments too.  I usually get really mad at the "...just fish" types and say "you're not a vegetarian, you're not anything!"  Heh.

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ya i don't understand the whole i'm vegetarian but i eat fish... fish is meat therefore u r not vegetarian... duh

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i thought one of my best friends was legitimately a vegetarian and then my mom asked her something about it and she goes, "well i eat fish" i was like  :o and  ???

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My roommate had a friend over yesterday and they were watching me make tofu.  My roommate is making an effort to eat more veggish, but the other girl was like "Yeah, I never eat meat.  Just chicken."  UGH!

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yeeeaah, my brother's fiancee is a 'vegetarian' who eats fish , chicken and beef .

she's a lovely person, and I'm pleased there's someone else around eating *less* meat, but it frustrates me that it muddies the water for people who don't understand the term. 

"A and B are both vegetarians"
B orders chicken sushi for lunch.
"Do you want some, A?"
"No thanks, I'm a vegetarian"
"but... but...B's a vegetarian too... but...but..." *BRAIN EXPLODES*

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Cool article- thanks for posting! I identify as 'ecovegavore' (a term I made up), since I kind of blend vegan and locavore habits... I eat vegan almost all the time, but don't necessarily have ethical objection to someone eating eggs from pet hens, or eating self-caught fish/ clams/ mussels from local waters... to me, these have less harmful effects on the ecoweb as a whole than, say, dairy or factory farmed eggs, which are purely vegetarian (please don't be offended, I'm not trying to convince! only express). I have never been ok, though, with the label 'flexitarian,' since I am absolutely NOT flexible about eating factory farmed animal anything, mammals, fowl, dairy, battery eggs, etc...

It's interesting to see how people struggle to define themselves. We want (need?) the umbrella of a term that sums us up, even when (based on the number of people who think a chicken is not an animal!), the meaning is so often corrupted by the listener... I absolutely never self-ID as vegan/ vegetarian, though, since the poor omnis are confused enough, without that! Sometimes, if it's a dinner party or something, & someone asks what kind of food I like, I might answer "I mostly eat vegan food," or "I like vegetarian food with no eggs or dairy"... because there's no way I can adequately sum up my entire food ethics world view in one quick blurb... but I wouldn't call myself something I'm not, because that would be like lying-- and that is not ethical behavior, which is the whole point!

I enjoyed the article-- it's good to see people thinking about these things, in the broader world.

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Thanks for being honest, hotcooknmama.  I totally respect your consumption of local foods, too.  I'm vegan and try to be as local as possible.  This is also one of the reasons I try my best to avoid "fake" products (fake meats, cream "cheese", soyanase, "cheese" slices, etc.) because I worry that the energy make these heavily processed products and ship them to me cancels out some of the good of being vegan.  Everything in moderation, of course. 

When I was a vegetarian (a REAL one too!), I went to stay with a family who knew in advance of my dietary habits.  They tried to feed me fish the first night of my stay for supper.  I explained again I was a vegetarian... they had a total hissy-fit and said "oh, so you're a vegan then!".  I tried to explain the difference to them, but no luck.  Oh, and the family thought that "vegetarians" ate pork too!  :S

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People who eat only fish are called Pescetarians, it's a name. I'm a pescetarian by label and of course I have to tell people i'm not a vegetarian, it's more confusing because I don't eat eggs or drink milk as supposedly most pescetarians do as do vegetarians. It's not confusing for me it's confusing for others which is something I don't get. To me it's just my lifestyle, i'm a gatherer and during different seasons gather different foods. I only eat fish that we catch ourselves local, I would never buy fish from the store that has been commercially fished.
About the article, I think it's great that more and more people are caring about healthier ways of eating, also can understand somewhat the frustration your feeling when you hear  people saying their vegetarian yet they eat chicken or fish and pork fgs.

Don't throw daggers at me.

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Wow, pretty interesting. When people find out I'm a vegan, they are like "whaaaat?" and then when I explain, they first have the whole "no meat dairy" fit, and then they seem to justify themselves like "Well, I try not to eat a lot of meat." Which either way, I'm not judging you, or at least not trying to look as though I'm judgmental, it's just like people seem to feel guilty about their dietary choices, which makes me sad, because that really was not my intention. I don't preach and give horror stories to anyone, much less someone I am not even close to.

Also- I read another interesting article about how the Catholic Church (not knocking at all) kind of perpetuated the idea of fish not being meat by on Fridays during lent, saying that Catholics couldn't have meat, but allowing meals containing fish. I guess by allowing it, it kind of subconsciously associated the idea of meatless meals with fish.

Interesting article, anyway.

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Thanks for sharing that article. It's nice to see vegetarian issues get news coverage too.

That reminds me of a few incidents with my well-meaning relatives. When I was younger, we would spend a month every summer in New Brunswick with my mother's side of the family. Since they live in a fishing village and are about a block from the beach, fish and shellfish especially are prevalent in their diet. The first summer after I went vegetarian, my mom attempted to convince me to eat shellfish. I quote "Some vegetarians eat fish", at which point I had to explain to her that as a vegetarian I don't eat flesh of any kind. In her defence, she was raised Catholic, where fish was eaten on 'meatless' fridays. Also, I was pretty grumpy because everyone around me was eating lobster while all I had was a boiled soydog and a salad.

Oh, and from my last boyfriend, "My last girlfriend was a vegetarian too, but she ate cheeseburgers" ???

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When my sis was living in Spain (not sure if this is a broader cultural thing, or just the region she was in, or what) there were apparently some MAJOR confusion issues regarding the 'vegetarian' acceptability of pork... roommates, restaurants, etc. kept telling her 'You'll like this, it's vegetarian!' She'd say, 'Really? what's that right there? it looks like ham...' They'd say, 'Oh, well, yeah, OBVIOUSLY it's got pork in it; but no other meat...'

??? :-\ ???

'O what a piece of work is man,' etc. etc. etc.! 

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I'm going to rain on the fish eaters parade.  >:D  Are y'all sure that the locally caught fish are from bodies of water that are clean enough for it to be safe to eat them?  My parents stopped fishing because all the lakes they fished at have been declared unsafe.  This is in Texas, of course, but I think the problem is nation if not world-wide.  Just a thought. 

http://www.naturaloregon.org/2009/11/10/unsafe-to-eat-epa-finds-widespread-contamination-in-fish/

http://www.town.oxford.ma.us/Pages/OxfordMA_Health/fishsafety

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/seafood/survey.shtm#advisory

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When my sis was living in Spain (not sure if this is a broader cultural thing, or just the region she was in, or what) there were apparently some MAJOR confusion issues regarding the 'vegetarian' acceptability of pork... roommates, restaurants, etc. kept telling her 'You'll like this, it's vegetarian!' She'd say, 'Really? what's that right there? it looks like ham...' They'd say, 'Oh, well, yeah, OBVIOUSLY it's got pork in it; but no other meat...'

??? :-\ ???

'O what a piece of work is man,' etc. etc. etc.! 

That must have been up North. Here in the South, if you say "meat" they think you mean "pork". So if a person asks for "ground meat" they will get pork unless they specify beef. And hamburgers, here, are usually made of pork unless you buy them in a Barfer King or McDo.

Maybe up North they consider ham a "garnish."

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When my sis was living in Spain (not sure if this is a broader cultural thing, or just the region she was in, or what) there were apparently some MAJOR confusion issues regarding the 'vegetarian' acceptability of pork... roommates, restaurants, etc. kept telling her 'You'll like this, it's vegetarian!' She'd say, 'Really? what's that right there? it looks like ham...' They'd say, 'Oh, well, yeah, OBVIOUSLY it's got pork in it; but no other meat...'

??? :-\ ???

'O what a piece of work is man,' etc. etc. etc.! 

That must have been up North. Here in the South, if you say "meat" they think you mean "pork". So if a person asks for "ground meat" they will get pork unless they specify beef. And hamburgers, here, are usually made of pork unless you buy them in a Barfer King or McDo.

Maybe up North they consider ham a "garnish."

I was an exchange student in Northern Spain, Huesca, in high school.  Unless you specified otherwise, any meat dish was made with pork.  I was served a lot of fish as well, but I don't recall eating chicken or beef often.  My host family owned a fancy resturante, and the menu was almost all pork and fish.  I wasn't vegetarian then, so I can't comment about that.  I just know they eat a lot of pork and seafood.  I allso spent time in Madrid, Sevilla, Granada, Cordoba, and Torremolinos, and it was the same in every location. 

They even ate ham on their melons.  The melons were awesome though!!  I can get that variety here about 1 week out of the year.  They eat like candy.  I'm getting hungry thinking about it.  I would love to travel back there someday. 

They did buy me an American-style burger which I thought was the nastiest thing I've ever been fed in my life.  If it was pork, that explains the nastiness.  I don't think the majority of people understand what a vegan or vegetarian is, no matter where they live.  I could go on about vegetable soup with beef floating in it, seafood on the vegetarian menu, rice from chicken casserole with the chicken picked out, etc.  People dont' understand it until they live it. 

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I find the "what is meat?" question to be so frustrating. My boyfriend's mother was telling us a story about how in church they were talking about eating meat for 40 days or something weird, and she like "Eww! Isn't that soooo disgusting? I can't even imagine" while making a gross face. I was like "don't you eat chicken every single day?" And she goes "Well, yeah, but that's not meat and that's not gross." First, to tell this to 2 vegans is freaking ridiculous. Second, she was eating a club sandwich with bacon and ham on it at that very moment. What the hell is wrong with people?

Fish=not a vegetable
chicken= not a vegetable

If people want to eat these things, I don't care. I think everyone should eat what makes them happy, as long as they're making an informed decision. But call it like it is. When I was a pescetarian, everyone told me I was a vegetarian. I said  "NOOOO, I'm not." It certainly does muddy the waters for uninformed people when we can't call things what they are.

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This is one reason I tend to reject all labels: they're NOT gonna know what I mean anyway, and they'll THINK that they do. I like only using self-descriptive terms that I made up myself -- omnis *still* won't know what I'm talking about, but at least they'll KNOW they don't know, and maybe some misunderstandings can be avoided!

I find it easiest to just say, 'I like food that's made from only plants' (surely we can all agree, even if you somehow don't think chicken is meat, that it's definitely not a plant, right?!)...'I like fresh whole foods, like fruits & veggies' (so you can't sneak any meat into it!)... 'I don't eat animals, eggs, or dairy' (I actually make occasional exceptions for nonindustrially produced/ local pet-chicken eggs or fish/ shellfish, but there's just NO payoff in trying to explain my personal sustainability-based exception criteria to omnis -- talk about muddying the waters!)... or -- my favorite! -- 'I like to bring my own food to dinner parties, so don't even worry about it!'.

Or in restaurants, 'does it have: beef? chicken? pork? fish? shellfish? any kind of broth from those creatures? eggs? milk? cheese? sour cream? etc etc etc...'  Because CLEARLY that's what you've gotta do *anyway,* since there's such widespread confusion about what labels actually mean! As labels go, I DO like 'plant-eater' and 'herbivore,' because they are inclusive towards all who are at least trying to reduce meat consumption/ have a mostly-veg lifestyle; and they convey the general theme of eating plants vs. animals, without the (often erroneous) connotations linked to other terms (i.e. 'some vegetarians eat fish!).

Words can cause such misunderstandings, when people think they are talking about the same thing, & aren't... I think humans have more communication problems than any other species!

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At a smoothie bar today, I asked which smoothies were vegan and if their sorbet had any dairy products in it. The counter girl responded with "Can you not digest dairy?"...I said " I just don't eat it" and she reponds with "Our yogurt is easy to digest, it is with bifidus". NOT HELPING!
I ended up ordering a juice. Why don't people get it?!

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"Can you not digest dairy?"...I said " I just don't eat it"

"...'because I'm not a baby cow."

or

"...because I'm an adult -- I've been off breastmilk for ages!"

These are my favorites for dealing with such foolishness... For a creature with a relatively large frontal cortex, humans can be just awfully dense, can't they?!

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